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Nigeria mourns plane crash dead in Dana Air disaster

Nigeria is in mourning after a plane crash in a densely populated Lagos neighborhood killed all 153 people on board, while many on the ground are also feared dead.

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A plane crash in Nigeria's capital Lagos killed over 150. This picture was taken with a cell phone camera on the scene and released on Twitter following the incident. (This photo cannot be verified by GlobalPost) (@ged/Twitter/Courtesy)

Nigeria is in mourning after a plane crash in a densely populated Lagos neighborhood Sunday afternoon killed all 153 people on board.

Emergency workers are continuing today to search for corpses in the rubble, fearing that many people on the ground may also have died in the crash, the Associated Press reported.

The Dana Air flight slammed into businesses and apartments and then burst into flames shortly after takeoff from Lagos' international airport, en route to the Nigerian capital Abuja.

The cause of the crash remains unclear.

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Agence France-Presse reported police fired tear gas to disperse a crowd that gathered at the crash site Monday morning.

Most of the passengers on board are thought to have been Nigerian. The pilot was an American and the co-pilot was Indian, according to an AFP report.

The Chinese embassy said six of its nationals died in the crash.

President Goodluck Jonathan has declared three days of national mourning, and is due to visit the crash site Monday, a spokesman told AFP.

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According to the AP, pilots on the plane, an aging American-built Boeing MD-83, radioed the control tower in Lagos just before the crash to report engine trouble.

The same plane is reported to have had technical problems recently, and last month made an emergency landing in Lagos.

The air disaster followed another plane crash Saturday in nearby Ghana, when a cargo plane traveling from Lagos to Accra overshot a runway on landing and hit a passenger bus, killing at least 10 people.

The BBC said Lagos's Murtala Muhammed Airport is a major transport hub for West Africa, with 2.3 million passengers passing through it in 2009, according Nigerian airports authority statistics.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/nigeria/120604/dana-air-nigeria-mourns-lagos-plane-crash-dead